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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
www.vtjp.org/
For those interested in keeping up with events in Palestine/Israel, there is no better digest than VTJP.

VTJP Archives | VTJP 2009
29 October, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

British lawyers vow to have Olmert arrested for war crimes
IMEMC 30 Oct 2009 - Friday October 30, 2009 - 00:06, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may face war crimes charges if he enters the United Kingdom.

US scientist charged with spying for Israel
IMEMC 30 Oct 2009 - Thursday October 29, 2009 - 23:48, A leading NASA scientist pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he tried to sell US defense secrets to Israel.

Kafr Qasem Commemorates The 53rd Anniversary Of Massacre
IMEMC 30 Oct 2009 - Thursday October 29, 2009 - 23:43, Thousands of Palestinians marched on Thursday commemorating the 53rd anniversary of the Kafr Qasem Massacre, which was carried out by the Israeli forces in 1956.

Jerusalem Must Be Capital Of Both Israel and Palestine, says UN Secretary General
IMEMC 30 Oct 2009 - Thursday October 29, 2009 - 22:43, Jerusalem must be the capital of two States - Israel and Palestine - living side-by-side in peace and security, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all, if peace in the Middle East is to be achieved, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Thursday.

Qassam fighter died in southern Gaza
IMEMC 30 Oct 2009 - Thursday October 29, 2009 - 17:09, The AL Qassam brigades the armed wing of Hamas said that one of its fighters died on Thursday during a "special mission" at the southern borders with Egypt.

Five residents and a journalist injured as troops attacked farmers near Hebron
IMEMC 30 Oct 2009 - Thursday October 29, 2009 - 16:46, Five residents and a journalist were reported injured on Thursday after being attacked by Israeli troops near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Ma'an News

Bethlehem student ’deported’ to Gaza
10/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces forcibly "deported" Berlanty Azzam, a Bethlehem University student, to Gaza overnight after detaining her at a military checkpoint on Wednesday. "I pray that no one else goes through the same experience," she said over the phone from Gaza, recounting her last hours in the West Bank. Born in Gaza, Azzam, 21, was sponsored by the university for study in the West Bank and had been living in Bethlehem since 2005, the university confirmed. She received a travel permit from the Israeli military to cross from Gaza to the West Bank in 2005. On Wednesday, however, she was heading home to Bethlehem from a job interview in Ramallah, and arrived at the "container" checkpoint at 1pm. Israeli forces checked her ID and held her until 7pm without explanation. Then they blindfolded and handcuffed her, put her in a jeep and told her they were taking her to "Etzion Israeli coordinating office," she said. 

Settlers obstruct fire fighters en route to Hebron blaze
10/29/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli settlers residing in illegal outposts in the heart of Hebron obstructed the work of Palestinian fire fighters on Wednesday night, as crews attempted to access a burning building owned by a Palestinian family. Firefighter Jamal Qawasmeh said the station received a call regarding a fire in the Bani Dar neighborhood in the old city of Hebron. "We coordinated with the Israeli side so the servicemen and our vehicle could access the area," he explained. Despite the coordination, however,"a group of settlers attacked fire fighting personnel" and blocked the access of the vehicle to the street where the fire was. "After more than half an hour the soldiers at the scene intervened to keep the settlers away from the fire fighting vehicle" and allowed it to pass, he said. Qawasmeh said it was not the first time fire fighters have been unable to reach homes and emergencies in the Old City. 

EU`s Solana slams house demolitions
10/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana issued a public statement Wednesday condemning the demolition of Palestinian homes by Israeli forces in Jerusalem the preceding day. Israeli military forces and a demolition crew from the Jerusalem Municipality entered the East Jerusalem village of Sur Bahir, south of the Old City, and destroyed the two-story house of Nimir Ali Nimir and eleven of his family members. Israeli bulldozers also demolished a 60 square meter house owned by Khamis At-Tahhan, which housed nine members of his family on Tuesday. "I am deeply concerned by the reports of recent demolitions of Palestinian houses located in East Jerusalem," Solana's statement read, "Such actions further undermine the efforts of the international community to re-launch credible peace negotiations aimed at achieving a just and sustainable peace. 

Israeli military seizes 15 from West Bank
10/28/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces seized 15 Palestinians during overnight raids on the northern West Bank, according to Israeli and Palestinian sources on Wednesday. The Israeli army said in a statement that 14 "wanted" Palestinians were arrested in the city of Nablus. The military also said that a sack of Molotov cocktails was found in the house of one of the suspects. Palestinian security sources said that Israeli forces raided Al-Ein Refugee Camp on the outskirts of Nablus and seized 17-year-old Sameh Ramaha, a high school student. The Palestinian police's daily report said that Israeli soldiers raided the city of Tulkarem and entered houses belonging to Tareq Az-Zalqa and Omer Budeir. Budeir's son Mustafa was detained. In the Shuweikah neighborhood of Tulkarem, 35-year-old Adnan Ayesh Balawneh was detained from his home, the police said. 

UK charity Oxfam concerned over apparent attack
10/29/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - The British humanitarian aid group Oxfam International is investigating reports that Israeli forces in Hebron may have intentionally destroyed an EU-funded water reservoir built by the charity. "We understand that beneficiaries have been attacked, as well as the water system, and that networks were destroyed," Oxfam spokesman Michael Bailey told Ma'an on Thursday. "We are very concerned for the farmers, who have lost every important source of income. " Bailey added that the organization was "following these reports closely," but could not immediately confirm that Israel's army had destroyed the EU-funded infrastructure. But locals told Ma'an earlier on Thursday that ten Palestinians, including a 70-year-old woman, seven women and two journalists, were attacked by Israeli forces south of Hebron during the course of the demolition. 

Thousands of Israelis descend on Rachel’s Tomb
10/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Thousands of Israelis, most of them ultra-Orthodox Jews, descended on the tomb of the Biblical matriarch Rachel in a militarized compound in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Thursday. Rachel's Tomb lies behind Israel's eight-meter concrete separation wall in a fortified enclave close to the center of Bethlehem. The wall criss-crosses Bethlehem, blocking the main road to Jerusalem, encircling a refugee camp and looming over the upscale Intercontinental hotel. Right-wing religious groups petitioned Israel's highest court in 2004 to re-route the wall to include the tomb on the western side. To this day the site, formerly known as the location of the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque, is accessible only from the Israeli side. A Jewish mass-prayer service takes place at the tomb every year on the date believed to be the anniversary of Rachel's death in childbirth. 

VIDEO - Watch: Jon Stewart interviews Mustafa Barghouthi
10/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Mustafa Barghouthi, former information minister and head of the Palestinian National Initiative, appeared on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show on Wednesday night. Broadcast to some 1. 6 million American viewers, Jewish activist Anna Baltzer joined the former presidential candidate in studio, where the two called for Palestinian equal rights and respect. A generally friendly audience broke into applause multiple times throughout the taping, although at one point an attendee called Barghouthi a liar, announced he was leaving, and was indeed eventually escorted out by guards after a second outburst, according to studio audience members. Taking cues from the outburst, Stewart commented to Barghouthi, "There are incredibly strong opinions [on the issue]. A man shouted 'liar' at you when you just said that this was the longest occupation. . . "-- Links: Thank The Daily Show for interviewing Barghouthi and Baltzer!

Haniyeh welcomes US shift, says willing to talk
10/29/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - There is nothing wrong with talking to the United States, de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told American delegates on a medical mission in Gaza on Wednesday. Hamas welcomes the new language of US President Barack Obama, Haniyeh added, but noted the administration must implement its plans so the Palestinian people can establish their state with Jerusalem as its capital. "I am convinced of the fairness of the rules of democracy, pluralism and the peaceful transfer of power in Palestine," he told the delegation, but noted the punishment the Palestinian people received when they fairly elected Hamas in 2006. The United States has the ability to bring peace to the region, Haniyeh added, and we have no issues with the Americans, but asked them to back up their pledges. Haniyeh welcomed the delegation to Gaza, thanking them for their humanitarian and social services. 

UK condemns ’unacceptable’ house evictions
10/29/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has "expressed serious concern about the continued and unacceptable evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem. "On Tuesday, Israeli forces and a demolition crew entered the East Jerusalem village of Sur Bahir, south of the Old City, and destroyed the two-story home of Nimir Ali Nimir. The 300 square-meter house was home to 11 people. In a telephone call with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Wednesday, the British foreign secretary urged all sides to maintain calm, but "assured prime minister Fayyad that we would continue to press the Israeli authorities to desist from such provocative and illegal actions. "According to a statement from the prime minister's office, Miliband also expressed disappointment that Hamas had vowed to obstruct elections that were called by President Mahmoud Abbas last week. . . . 

French FM demands Jerusalem settlement freeze
10/29/2009 - Rabat - Ma'an - Israel's ongoing house demolitions and excavations in East Jerusalem are unacceptable, said French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in Morocco on Thursday. "These actions, which reenforce the status quo in advance of a final-status agreement, put at risk a shared city and two-state solution," he said, addressing the International Jerusalem Forum in Rabat. Thus, Kouchner said, France and the European Union are calling for a settlement freeze that includes East Jerusalem. Expressing concern over recent events at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the foreign minister said, "We all realize the vulnerable situation of this holy city, which has repeatedly been the basis for violence and conflict. " He said holy sites should be used "for tolerant worship," and added that "each party should avoid any kind of provocations. 

Barghouthi: Unity deal needed before elections
10/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi said on Tuesday that elections cannot be held without a national unity agreement in place. "Elections can't be held before rivalry comes to an end," said Barghouthi who is serving life sentence in an Israeli prison. The popular leader however blamed Hamas for the current impasse for their refusal to sign Egypt's latest proposal for Palestinian unity. Abbas decreed that elections be held in January, a step that Hamas said should be delayed until after a deal is signed. According to the PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe, Barghouthi told him during a visit to Israel's Hadareim prison, "National unity, and protection of the Palestinian political system are our compass toward completing our national duties. This is far more important than all partisan and individual interests. 

Fatah: Reconciliation file expected to transfer to Arab League
10/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Communication with Egypt over the conciliation plan has frozen, Fatah Central Committee member Azzam Al-Ahmad admitted Thursday. "Egypt has not called us or informed us of any new updates," Al-Ahmad said in an interview. "This is a period of rest, evaluation, and we are waiting to hear Egypt's position on [the issue of conciliation]. " Hamas refused to sign the Egyptian proposal by 15 October, saying it preferred to register its comments. Egypt had asked that both Hamas and Fatah respond by the 15th with a simple yes or no to the proposal. While both parties admitted there were problems with the conciliation document, a Fatah delegation went to Egypt and signed the plan on 14 October. Hamas was set to send a delegation following the passing of the Goldstone report in the UN Human Rights Council on 18 October, but the departure of the delegation was indefinitely postponed. 

Hamas: PA detained six members in West Bank
10/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Hamas said accused Palestinian Authority forces of detaining six party members from across the West Bank on Wednesday and Thursday, a statement from the group said. According to Hamas, its members were detained from Hebron, Ramallah, Nablus and Qalqiliya. The move comes as unity between the sides was declared frozen by Fatah members. [end] 

De facto military court sentences PA policeman to death for treason
10/29/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A de facto government military court in Gaza issued its second death penalty ruling in as many months on Thursday, sentencing an Az-Zaitun resident to death by firing squad. The convicted, identified as 35-year-old Abed Al-Karim Mohammad Al-Abed Sharir, worked for the Palestinian Authority police in Gaza, and was found guilty of treason under articles (131/a), (140/b), (148) of the Palestinian Revolutionary Law (1979). Mohammad was also found guilty of manslaughter under articles (378/ a) and (88/a) of the same code. According to article (415) of the penalty procedures (3) for the year 2001, the court said, his punishment would be death by firing squad and can be petitioned. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights earlier noted that the 1979 Palestinian Penal Law "is the Revolutionary Penal Code of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). It is unconstitutional within the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) as it has not been presented to, nor approved by, the legislature. " 

Palestinian citizen of Israel demands right to conjugal visits
10/28/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An Israel court in Nazareth refused the petition of a Palestinian citizen of Israel, demanding his right to conjugal visits with his wife, denied since their 1999 marriage, lawyers with Adallah said. Walid Daqqa was detained in 1986 for his affiliation with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and on charges of involvement in the capture of an Israeli soldier, Moshe Tamam, who was captured and killed in 1985. Daqqa married his now 47-year-old wife, a human rights lawyer, in 1999, and has been denied conjugal visits with her since their marriage. Adalah center lawyer Abir Baker said the organization had petitioned the courts several times on the matter, but were constantly rejected under the pretext that Daqqa would use the visits to "communicate with hostile organizations. 

Two Gaza crossings open
10/29/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened two Gaza crossings on Thursday, announcing the transfer of between 96-106 truckloads of goods into the besieged Strip. The Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossings are set to open for fuel and commercial goods, while the agricultural goods and bulk foodstuffs crossing at Karnni crossing will remain closed, crossings official Raed Fattouh said Thursday morning. The crossings are expected to be closed on Friday and Saturday. [end] 

Palestinian telecom company Jawwal visits prisoners
10/29/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Staff from the Palestinian communications company Jawwal visited 21 women recently released from Israeli prisons as part of what its general director called the company's "national duty to our prisoners and former prisoners. "The employees listened to the accounts of the women, some of whom were released in exchange for a two-minute video tape of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on 4 October. Jawwal General Director Ammar Al-Eker said the women were given Jawwal phones and numbers as a show of support from the company. Eighteen-year-old former detainee Sumud Abdullah said she thought the initiative was a nice gesture by the private sector to show support for those who gave years of their lives in Israeli prisons. 

Qalandiya checkpoint closed after stones thrown
10/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian demonstrators reportedly hurled stones at Israeli forces at the Qalandiya military checkpoint south of Ramallah on Thursday. According to the website of the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, no one was injured in reported demonstration. The Israeli military closed the checkpoint as a result of the clashes, the report states. [end] 

Israeli police want two remands extended
10/29/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli police urged a Jerusalem court on Thursday to extend the detentions of Raed and Nedal Sarhan, residents of the Ath-Thuri neighborhood, for interrogations through November. The two were arrested by undercover Israeli forces and intelligence officers during separate raids on their homes on Tuesday. After ransacking their homes, according to family members, the two were taken for questioning to the Russian compound detention center. [end] 

PLO: Israeli house demolition policy ’a war crime’
10/29/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - The PLO insisted on Thursday that Israel's ongoing demolition of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem "is a war crime and a deliberate affront to international resolutions and humanitarian law. "In a statement, the PLO's international relations department slammed what it termed Israel's "policy of expulsion and ethnic cleansing. " On Tuesday, Israeli forces and a demolition crew entered the East Jerusalem village of Sur Bahir, south of the Old City, and destroyed the two-story home of Nimir Ali Nimir. The 300 square-meter house was home to 11 people. Israeli authorities said Nimir's house was built without a construction permit from the Israeli-controlled municipality. Palestinian residents of Jerusalem say the permits are nearly impossible to obtain. But that home was the eighth in recent weeks, the PLO noted, adding that "the policy of home demolition, especially. . . " 

Grave concern over Jerusalem at Morocco forum
10/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The practice of Israeli extremists acting against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem under the cover of Israeli soldiers has created a "very dangerous" situation in the holy city, President Mahmoud Abbas told King Muhammad VI of Morocco on Wednesday. Abbas was representing Palestine at the Jerusalem International Forum in Rabat, Morocco, whose kingchairs the Jerusalem Committee in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). "Israeli violations harm the people, the holy places and the cultural heritage of Jerusalem," Abbas told forum participants, "violations of the rocks and the trees threaten not only the peace of the region, but the stability of the world. "  Supporting Jerusalem is like supporting coexistence, Abbas stressed, "Minarets of mosques, and crosses on churches dotting the Jerusalem skyline are a testament to the joint fight of Christians. . . " 

Former Israeli MK won’t travel abroad for fear of war crimes charges
10/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon, wanted for war crimes in Europe, declared in the Israeli press Wednesday that he is "willing to forgo visits to European capitals and to allow the Israel Defense Forces the freedom to act. "Ya'alon, the former Israeli chief of staff for the army, is wanted on charges of war crimes for the assassination of Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh, who was killed alongside 14 civilians in July 2002. He is one of several Israeli officials and former officials with warrants outstanding in various world capitals. The official's announcement comes as increasing support for an International Criminal Court inquiry into war crimes that may have been committed by Israeli troops, and their commanders echoes in Europe and North America. Several speaking engagements of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert were interrupted by protesters last week,. . . 

Fayyad talks Dayton, resistance and statehood in new magazine
10/29/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - US General Keith Dayton is involved in "training and only training," and does not interfere in the security mission of the Palestinian Security Services, Prime Minister of the caretaker government Salam Fayyad commented. An interview with Fayyad ran as a feature in the Ramallah-based Palestine Studies magazine, whose latest issue was released Wednesday. In the article, Fayyad discussed the mission of Dayton and his role in the development of the Palestinian Security Forces, as well as the progress on his two-year plan for the declaration of an independent Palestinian state. "Violence is no longer part of the Palestinian resistance," Fayyad announced while addressing questions around the role of Dayton. After the Oslo Accords, he explained, the track of violent resistance came to an end, and now negotiations must be used as an alternative. 

UN General Assembly to debate Gaza report next week
10/29/2009 - Bethlehem- Ma'an/Agencies - The United Nations General Assembly will debate next week a report that accuses Israel and Palestinian fighters of committing war crimes during Israel's offensive against Gaza last winter. According to The Associated Press , a UNGA spokesperson announced that the debate on the Goldstone report will take place during a plenary meeting on 4 November. The report was endorsed last week by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and transmitted to the president of the UNGA, Ali Treki, in a letter. Arab states and the 118-member Nonaligned Group also submitted requests for the report to be considered in early November. The report is the result of an independent, international fact-finding mission led by South African judge Richard Goldstone, a former war crimes prosecutor in tribunals on Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. 

Reports: Clinton set for Mideast trip
10/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to travel to the Middle East on Saturday in an attempt to breathe life into moribund peace talks, according to news reports on Wednesday. An Israeli official, speaking on Israel Radio and Voice of Palestine radio said, "Israel is preparing to receive Secretary of State Clinton on the weekend," according to Reuters. It will be Clinton's second visit since US President Barack Obama took office in January. Another senior official, US special envoy George Mitchell is also expected to arrive on Thursday and stay until next week. Mitchell has made repeated visits to the region since January. [end] 

Egypt sends 160 tons of cookies to Israel for transport into Strip
10/29/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - The World Food Program and Egyptian authorities sent 160 tons of cookies through the Al-Oja crossing into Israel on Thursday, with the hope that Israeli officials will allow the goods into Gaza, officials said. Representative to the Palestinian Authority from the Al-Oja crossing Omar Hadhoud said the WFP sent the food as urgent humanitarian aid to the children of Gaza, though he noted no special arrangements with Israeli authorities to ensure the transport of goods into the Strip. Israel has blocked access to all goods it deemed "non-essential" including sweets, school supplies, building materials and until recently, coffee and tea. Hadhoud said he hoped the cookies will travel through the Kerem Shalom crossing, less than a kilometer away from the Egyptian border. Egyptian authorities also noted efforts were ongoing to coordinate the entry of the "Miles of Smiles" convoy into Gaza via the Rafah crossing. 

Jericho police seize ecstasy and hash
10/28/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - The anti-drug squad in Jericho seized quantities of hash andecstasy pills from the home of a Jericho resident Wednesday afternoon, police reported. The police media office said information on the suspected drug dealers was collected over weeks and the operation was carefully planned for the afternoon. The head of the police department in Jericho Brigadier Mahmoud Salah Al-Din said police will continue to work against the distribution of illegal drugs in Palestine. [end] 

2,000-year-old artifacts recovered in Nablus
10/29/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - The northern West Bank Antiquities Department took possession of three Roman-era coffins hidden in the agricultural warehouse of a Talluza villager who found the artifacts at a nearby site. The officials were tipped off by a local, who informed the Palestinain Authority department of Preventative Security. The Antiquities department worked in cooperation with the police to identify the artifacts and ensure their proper care as they were moved to secure facilities. Head of the department of antiquities Dergham Al-Fares said experts estimated the finds were more than 2,000 years old. He noted that the department, which has confiscated numerous stolen and unregistered artifacts over the past three years, is searching for an appropriate place to store, and even display the valuable artifacts. Al-Fares urged residents to protect Palestinian history and its artifacts. 

Roman-era cemetery uncovered near Hebron
10/29/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Palestinian tourism and antiquitiespolice uncovered Roman-era cemeteries in the town of Halhul, north of Hebron, on Thursday, according to the department's media office. "As the municipality of Halhul was using heavy machinery to expand the main road, a number of Roman-era graves and skeletons were found, and workers immediately contacted antiquities police," the department said in a statement. Ramadan Awad, the head of Hebron's police department, asked residents to report any related discoveries to the antiquities police "in order to help preserve the civil and historic heritage of Palestine. "[end] 

PSE trades mixed: Al-Quds Index up 0.02% on Wednesday
10/28/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Trading was mixed on the Palestine Securities Exchange in the West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday, as the Al-Quds Index closed at 501. 95, marking an increase of 0. 1 points (0. 02%). Trading reached 1,329,762 shares for a total value of 4,207,201. 67 US dollars, over the course of 323 trades. The shares of 21 companies were traded. The share prices four companies rose, while those of eight dropped. The top gainers were MIC by 3. 64%, JCC by 3. 53%, AIG by 1. 25%, BOP by 1. 08%, The top five losers were PLAZA by 4. 23%, AHC by 3. 90%, WASSEL by 3. 08%, QUDS by 1. 63%, AMB by 1. 30%. [end] 

PSE falls: Al-Quds Index down 0.35% on Thursday
10/29/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks fell on The Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus on Thursday. The Al-Quds Index closed at 500. 18, marking a decrease of 1. 77 points (0. 35%). Trading volume was 1,219,807 shares for a total value of 3,723,545. 16 US dollars over the course of 390 trades. The shares of 26 companies were traded. The shares prices of 10 companies rose, while those of nine declines. The top five gainers were GCOM by 4. 17%, ARE by 3. 92%, ARAB by 3. 51%, MIC by 3. 51%, AIG by 2. 47%. The top five losers were PLAZA by 4. 41%, UCI by 3. 28%, NCI by 3. 23%, LADAEN by 2. 86%, PRICO by 2. 41%. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

U.S. official: Syria must rethink support of Hezbollah, Hamas if it wants better ties
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Assistant Secretary of State: Dialogue with Syria will not be at the expense of Lebanon's sovereignty. 

Barak: Soldiers' political protest harms IDF, Israel
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Defense Minister warns of perils of IDF soldiers protesting settler evacuations within confines of the army. 

Trial of suspected Hezbollah cell resumes in Egypt
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - 26 men are accused of planning attacks against tourists and the Suez Canal and possessing explosives. 

Lebanon army dismantles 4 rockets aimed at Israel
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Rockets ready for launching were discovered Wednesday; Katyusha struck northern Israel on Tuesday. 

Aluf Benn / Who decided to go to war in Gaza and why?
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Did the cabinet consider that hundreds of Palestinian civilians would be killed during Operation Cast Lead? 

VIDEO / Settlers clash with Palestinian 'security threat' olive growers
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Settlers reportedly uproot dozens of Palestinian olive trees; IDF lets settlers protest inside Palestinian village. 

IDF Chief: Israeli inquiry into Gaza war proper response to Goldstone
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Gabi Ashkenazi said Israel can't let anyone control its future, in his first visit to Germany as Chief of Staff. 

Peres: Unlike Hamas, Israel protects its children
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - President tells schoolchildren that Israel doing everything possible to bring Gilad Shalit back home. 

Israel to set up team to review Gaza war probe
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Netanyahu stresses that team will recommend course of action, IDF troops won't be investigated. 

Hamas: War will settle Jerusalem dispute, not talks
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Jordan to Israel: Temple Mount violence derails peace efforts; Arab MK: Israel letting extremists desecrate Al-Aqsa. 

IDF troops who waved pro-settler banner expelled from brigade
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Offending troops also given 20 days in military prison after holding banner at IDF swearing-in ceremony. 

Israel Police battle Arab rioters on Temple Mount; PA official arrested
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Abbas aide among 15 arrested by Jerusalem police in fresh unrest; three cops wounded. 

Palestinian woman stabs Israeli guard at West Bank checkpoint
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Guard taken to hospital in moderate condition; Jerusalem police detain 21-year-old assailant for questioning. 

IDF soldier hospitalized after beating by officer
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Golani platoon commander caused soldier internal bleeding; officer dismissed from post. 

Is Taliban helping Gaza militants make deadlier roadside bombs?
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - IDF tests find that bombs deployed on security fence are similar to those used against U.S. in Afghanistan, Iraq. 

'Netanyahu didn't mean he backed Israel probe of Gaza war'
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - PM's bureau issues statement to clarify comments Netanyahu made in interview with Washington Post. 

Ministers to discuss bill to give IDF vets more benefits
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Benefits would include money towards education and a discount on mortgage of first apartment. 

IDF threatens to dismiss 'disgraceful' pro-settler troops
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Group of Kfir Brigade soldiers waved anti-disengagement placards during graduation march in Jerusalem. 

Palestinian leaders urge Gaza militants to kidnap more IDF troops
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - Hamas says release of two Syrian Druze prisoners from Israeli prison last week was part of Shalit film deal. 

U.S.: IDF defense drill helping craft Europe missile shield
Ha'aretz 30 Oct 2009 - U.S. and Israel launched joint drill as world powers try to persuade Iran to curb uranium enrichment. 

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] Haniyeh welcomes US shift, says willing to talk
Uruknet October 29, 2009 - There is nothing wrong with talking to the United States, de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told American delegates on a medical mission in Gaza on Wednesday. Hamas welcomes the new language of US President Barack Obama, Haniyeh added, but noted the administration must implement its plans so the Palestinian people can establish their state with...

[uruknet.info] The day the bulldozers came...
Uruknet October 29, 2009 - West Bank farmer Mahmoud al-'Alam won't forget the day Israeli army bulldozers cut off his water supply... and destroyed his livelihood. The village of Beit Ula, where Mahmoud lives, is not connected to the Palestinian water network. Instead the community, located north-west of Hebron, relies on rainwater, which it collects and stores in pots dug in...

[uruknet.info] Testimony: Israeli Army deports Muhammad Abu Sultan to the Gaza Strip and prohibits him from rejoining his wife and children in Tulkarm, October 2009
Uruknet October 29, 2009 - ...My husband had a Gazan resident identity card. A few years ago, the Palestinian Authority announced that residents of Gaza living in the West Bank could exchange their identity cards for West Bank identity cards. Muhammad went to the Palestinian Population Administration office in Ramallah and on 1 October 2007, he was issued a West Bank...

[uruknet.info] Saddam Hussein : His Last Hours. Part -1
Uruknet October 29, 2009 - ...The following are extracts from a series of articles that are appearing regularly in a Jordanian daily paper called Al-Ghad, and extracts of which were taken up by the Palestinian news agency Maan News. They are based on the latest publication of a book by Saddam Hussein's lawyer, Khalil Al-Dulaimi, and the book was put in...

[uruknet.info] America's Media? A Colonial Force for Israel's Infallibility
Uruknet October 29, 2009 - ...It is axiomatic that "their/our" news media protects Israel from any negative stories that may expose its war crimes; crimes against humanity, its three-year siege of 1.5 million Palestinians denied access to food, water and medicines, its imprisonment and torture of women and children as well as one third of the Palestinian elected representatives. It publicly...

[uruknet.info] Bethlehem University Student is Blindfolded, Handcuffed, and Taken to Gaza by Force As military lawyer gives false promise
Uruknet October 29, 2009 - Berlanty Azzam, 21, was arrested yesterday while crossing from one part of the West Bank to another - just because her address in the Israeli-controlled Population Registry is registered in the Gaza Strip. The Military Legal Adviser's Office promised not to remove her to Gaza pending a court petition this morning by Gisha challenging the removal....

[uruknet.info] Israeli blockade strangling Gaza agriculture
Uruknet October 29, 2009 - Recently, Israel announced that it would import palm fronds from the Gaza Strip for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The move came at the behest of Minister of Religious Services, Yakov Margi, who feared that a shortage of palm fronds and a local monopoly on the item would send prices skyrocketing for the Jewish holiday, which...

[uruknet.info] Video: Palestinians homeless again after eviction
Uruknet October 29, 2009 - The United Nations is calling on Israel to immediately stop demolishing Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem. The UN says 60,000 Palestinians may be at risk of being forcibly evicted. Israel says the houses are built without construction permits, which Palestinians say are almost impossible to obtain. Our correspondent Jacky Rowland is in Sheikh Jarrah where...

[uruknet.info] Facing Tomorrow
Uruknet October 29, 2009 - The time has come for looking deeper into the Palestinian political system and empowerment of the Palestinian, Arab and international think tanks worldwide to face the thought-provoking challenges of the Palestinian divide and its negative impacts on the Palestinians, their neighbors and the international community. If it matters, measure it. Firstly, the delay of the Goldstone...

[uruknet.info] Israelis at center of ecstasy drug trade
Uruknet October 29, 2009 - Israel is at the center of international trade in the drug ecstasy, according to a document published last week by the U.S. State Department. In recent years, organized crime in Israel, some with links to criminal organizations in Russia, have come to control the distribution of the drug in Europe, according to a Bureau for International...

[uruknet.info] Tipping the balance in East Jerusalem
Uruknet October 29, 2009 - I had just left home this morning when I saw a series of police vehicles turning into my road. I have recently moved to Sheikh Jarrah, a neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem where Israel pursues a policy of evicting Palestinians from their homes. I'd been thinking that I was late for work - in fact I...

[uruknet.info] Lawyer: CIA kept detainees alive to keep torturing them
Uruknet October 29, 2009 - possibleprison Lawyer: CIA kept detainees alive to keep torturing themAccording to human rights lawyer John Sifton, the CIA tortured some of its detainees in the War on Terror so severely that it had to take measures to keep them alive so they could continue being tortured. Sifton, who is the executive director of One World Research,...

Palestine Telegraph

5,000 Fans Gather for Gaza Dialogue and Tolerance Cup Final
Gaza City, October 29, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Terrace crowds are controlled by men wearing army fatigues and holding Kalashnikov rifles, players and press pray on the pitch at half-time and when the final whistle is blown, the trophy is handed to...

Hebron Women Sew World's Largest Dress
West Bank, October 29, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Palestinians in the West Bank town of Hebron have sewn what they believe is the world's largest embroidered dress.

Pal Telegraph Photographer Wins Award
Gaza, October 29, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Ibda' Association held a festival to honor the winners of the "disaster and the tournament" photo contest at Rashad Shawa Center in Gaza City.

Ban Ki-Moon: Jerusalem Must Be Capital of Both Israel and Palestine
New York, October 29, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Jerusalem must be the capital of two States - Israel and Palestine - living side-by-side in peace and security, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all, if peace in the Middle East...

Hamas Bans January Elections in Gaza
Gaza, October 28, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Hamas-run interior ministry in the Gaza Strip has ordered Palestinians in the territory not to take part in elections called by Mahmoud Abbas, the West Bank-based president.

The National

Egypt's nuclear plans threatened
The National 29 Oct 2009 - Egypt prepares to finalise plans for their first nuclear power plant but opposition from a developer puts the project at risk.

Congress puts on pressure for sanctions against Iran
The National 29 Oct 2009 - For almost two decades, targeting Iran has been a key priority of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), the powerful pro-Israel lobby group.

Lebanon government near, says Suleiman
The National 29 Oct 2009 - Foreign observers hope Lebanon's wait for a workable government will soon be over, and some warn that a delay could be dangerous.

Iran nuclear deal may be undermined by changes 
The National 29 Oct 2009 - The extent of Tehran's requested modifications' to the deal could have far-reaching and potentially destabilising ramifications for the region and beyond. 

US threatened' by Iran's relationship with Latin America 
The National 28 Oct 2009 - The western diplomatic, military and trade expansion helps Tehran to blunt the effect of sanctions.

Israelis cut water supply to a trickle
The National 28 Oct 2009 - An Amnesty report says Israel discriminates against the Palestinian population by maintaining full control over shared supplies.

Hamas bans vote in Gaza
The National 28 Oct 2009 - Hamas declares it will not allow elections in the Gaza Strip early next year, further ratcheting tensions between the Islamist movement and Fatah.

Hamas threatens to ban Gaza elections
The National 28 Oct 2009 - The group says it will ban the organisation of elections after Abbas calls for a poll in the Palestinian territories.

Aljazeera

Israel levels Palestinian homes
AlJazeera 28 Oct 2009 - Israel ignores UN calls to halt destruction of Palestinian properties in east Jerusalem.

Iran 'seeks change to nuclear deal'
AlJazeera 29 Oct 2009 - Iran formally responds to IAEA pact on its atomic programme.

Hamas 'bans' January polls in Gaza
AlJazeera 28 Oct 2009 - Interior ministry tells Gazans not to co-operate with elections called by president.

UN sets date for Gaza report debate
AlJazeera 29 Oct 2009 - General Assembly to examine on November 4 Goldstone report on Gaza war crimes.

Alternative Information Center

The Alternative Information Center Hosts International Conference and Jerusalem Day 
Alternative Information Center 29 Oct 2009 - On 24-25 October, the Alternative Information Center hosted an international conference titled “United In Struggle Against Israeli Colonialism, Occupation, and Racism.” The conference was held in collaboration with the Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Advocacy...

Palestine News Network

Chief Palestinian negotiator Sa'eb Erekat: President Abbas to meet Clinton and Mitchell on Saturday
PNN 29 Oct 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – During her upcoming visit to the region, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be urging indirect negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, despite the Israeli refusal to stop settlement expansion. Head of negotiations in the Palestine Liberation Organization, Dr. Sa’eb Erekat said on Thursday that President Abbas will meet Saturday with Clinton and US envoy to the peace process...

EU Foreign Policy rep: I urge the Israelis to put an end to discriminatory measures in E Jerusalem
PNN 29 Oct 2009 - Brussels / Mohamed Al Arabi for PNN - High Representative for Foreign Policy in the European Union, Javier Solana condemned on Wednesday evening the demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. He said, “I am deeply concerned by reports of recent developments in demolitions in East Jerusalem. These actions undermine efforts by the international community to re-launch peace negotiations which aim to achieve...

Hamas party reports that PA security services arrested six of its members in West Bank within 2 days
PNN 29 Oct 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – The Hamas party reported today that Palestinian Authority security services continue the policy of arresting its members in the West Bank. Politically motivated arrests have been part of the ongoing struggle between the PA and the Hamas government for at least two years.Hamas said that within the past two days six of its members have been arrested in the...

Rafah crossing with Egypt open both directions next week, instructions issued by Interior Ministry
PNN 29 Oct 2009 - Rafah / PNN – Egypt is allowing its shared border with the Gaza Strip to be open at the Rafah crossing for three days next week. Director of Coordination at the Rafah Crossing, Jaser Al Mashoukhi announced this morning that the Egyptian authorities decided to open the route for passenger traffic in both directions on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.The Palestinian Ministry of Interior...

Sit-in on Friday at Al Aqsa Mosque in support of Palestinians struggling to preserve Jerusalem
PNN 28 Oct 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN - The Civil Association held a meeting today in Jerusalem to plan for a sit-in on Friday in support of the city and Al Aqsa Mosque. Both the city and Mosque are under the continued menace of Israeli forces at several levels. Settlers have issued an ongoing threat to storm the first Qiblah and the third holiest site in Islam,...

Ghaoui tent destroyed after Israelis forcibly evict family from home in E Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah
PNN 28 Oct 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN - The Israeli-controlled Jerusalem Municipality demolished the Ghaoui family tent today and confiscated it contents. The family was living in the tent after the occupying Israeli administration forcibly evicted them from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and gave the house to settlers.It is from the overtaken Ghaoui home that Jewish extremists have waged several attacks on the citizens...

Palestinian police report on the death of citizens after injuries in separate incidents in Nablus
PNN 28 Oct 2009 - Nablus / PNN – A man died this morning in Nablus from injuries sustained to the head during a fall last week, Palestinian police report. He was taken to Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus already in a coma. The Chief Prosecutor in the northern West Bank city has ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.In a separate incident, the police also...

Jerusalem Post

'We must try to repair our friendship'
Jeruslalem Post 30 Oct 2009 - At Turkish national day event, Ben-Eliezer talks of shared values linking Jerusalem and Ankara.

Fatah operative: Waqf quietly pleased at Raed Salah's arrest
Jeruslalem Post 30 Oct 2009 - Official says department rejects the Islamic Movement leader's incitement, which spread violent protests at the Temple Mount, praises cooperation.

President Obama promotes Israel critic
Jeruslalem Post 29 Oct 2009 - Retired Sen. Chuck Hagel to co-chair Intelligence Advisory Board with former Sen. David Boren.

Congress turns up pressure on Iran
Jeruslalem Post 29 Oct 2009 - Teheran reportedly vetoes export of its low-enriched uranium; Israel stays mum; inspectors leave Qom.

Expectations low for Mitchell's visit
Jeruslalem Post 29 Oct 2009 - US Mideast envoy reportedly set to join Clinton for talks with Abbas in Abu Dhabi after Israel meetings.

14 years on: Israel remembers Rabin
Jeruslalem Post 29 Oct 2009 - At official memorial service, Peres eulogizes slaim PM; Dalia Rabin: Israel still plagued with violence.

'Everyone knows how important ties are'
Jeruslalem Post 29 Oct 2009 - Turkish envoy: Ankara aspires to good relations with Israel; Erdo?an in Iran: Jerusalem ties to continue.

Assad's overture meets doubt in Jerusalem
Jeruslalem Post 29 Oct 2009 - Shalom, Vilna'i point out that Damascus supports terror; Assad said Syrians ready for talks with Israel.

Suleiman: Israel may be behind Katyusha attack
Jeruslalem Post 29 Oct 2009 - Lebanese president says attack on Galilee was in J'lem's interest, slams IDF response to Katyusha.

IRIN

LEBANON: Solar power helps schools, hospitals
IRIN AKKAR Thursday, October 29, 2009 (IRIN) - In Lebanon’s remote northeastern district of Akkar, teachers and pupils at the Rajam Issa public school are hoping this winter will be the first when the lights stay on. “Electricity is the lifeline of the school,” said head teacher Ibrahim Salame, complaining of...

SYRIA: Thousands of Iraqi refugees seek resettlement in West
IRIN DAMASCUS Wednesday, October 28, 2009 (IRIN) - Iraqi refugee Leila Johanna Isho is determined to make this her last year in Syria. “Most of our family is scattered across Europe and I have a cousin in Canada so we don’t mind where we move, but we have to move because...

ISRAEL-OPT: Dry water holes versus green gardens
IRIN SOUTH MOUNT HEBRON/TEL AVIV Tuesday, October 27, 2009 (IRIN) - It's a hot September day in the desert hills of South Mount Hebron in the West Bank, an hour’s drive south of Jerusalem. A small convoy of four water tankers makes its way along an unpaved road to deliver water...

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: NIE Reveals Qom Facility Followed 2007 Bush Threats 
IPS WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (IPS) - The Barack Obama administration claims that construction of a second Iranian uranium enrichment facility at Qom began before Tehran's decision to withdraw from a previous agreement to inform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in advance of such construction. But the November 2007 U.S. intelligence...

MIDEAST: Egypt Makes Cultural Clout Count 
IPS CAIRO, Oct 29 (IPS) - Egypt has long been recognised as the cultural trendsetter of the Arabic- speaking world. Despite recent challenges to this role with the advent of satellite television, experts say that contemporary Arab culture remains largely defined by Egyptian literature, music, film and television.

Stop The Wall

http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/2097.shtml
Stop The Wall 29 Oct 2009 - More than 150 people attended the weekly demo against the Apartheid Wall. Protestors held signs with the names of the five Nil’in prisoners, and others called for the freedom of the 11,000 other Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Youth marched with their hands tied, imitating the means soldiers use when they arrest Palestinians. Soldiers constantly tried to capture protestors, and jeep mounted launchers showered the area with gas. Soldiers also targeted medical teams, firing tear gas directly at them. [

Ni’lin demands Palestinian unity
Stop The Wall 29 Oct 2009 - Six people were injured, including one young man who was shot in the jaw with a rubber coated steel bullet, when more than 200 demonstrators attended the weekly demonstration against the Apartheid Wall in Ni’lin yesterday. This week the demonstration was calling for Palestinian unity, and the protestors demanded a stop to all factional rivalry and unification against the occupation. ‘The Palestinian people are one, the Palestinian people all live under occupation and we can only overcome if we stand strong as one! [

PCHR Weekly Report

PCHR Release English Version of ‘Targeted Civilians: A PCHR Report on the Israeli Military Offensive against the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009)’
PCHR 

PCHR Send Letter to Prime Minister in Gaza Government, Isma'il Haniya
PCHR 

PCHR Participates in a Regional Workshop in Beirut on Democratic Reform
PCHR 

PCHR Director and Deputy Director Meet Director of UNRWA Operations
PCHR 

International Solidarity Movement

Settlers and army attack farmers in Qaryut, leaving five wounded
10/28/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 27 October 2009 - At around 8am, on Tuesday 27 October, olive farmers from the village of Qaryut, south of Nablus, were physically assaulted by settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Shilo. At least two Palestinian children were injured by the settlers, one sustaining an injury to his arm and the second one to his foot. When the Israeli forces arrived, they allowed the settlers to leave the scene, as the soldiers started attacking the Palestinians. One man was hit in the back of his head by a soldier's rifle, only to find himself detained. The Palestinian farmers were ordered to stop picking and return to Qaryut. Shortly afterwards, however, the village was raided by the army. Fearing that their fathers, husbands and sons would be arrested, the local women formed a human chain around them. The Israeli army responded to this non-violent act of resistance by showering the women with pepper-spray and hiting them with their rifles. 

Israeli forces demolish tent of evicted family in Sheikh Jarrah
10/29/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - On Wednesday 28 October, around 50 armed police and border police cordoned off a road in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem and, as ordered by the Jerusalem Municipality, demolished a tent, where the Gawi family has been living since they were forcibly evicted from their home on 2 August 2009. The destruction occurred despite the presence of a delegation of members of the European Parliament led by the Vice President Luisa Morgantini. At 10. 15am, the Israeli forces surrounded the tent where a member of the Gawi family was preparing breakfast holding her two year old daughter. Supported by only a few people who were present in the area at this time, she tried to gather at least some of the family's belongings and verbally protested the violent destruction of their only shelter as the police tore the tent down and confiscated everything that was left. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Study: Birthright alumni less likely to marry out 
Ha'aretz 29 Oct 2009 - A new study suggesting that Birthright alumni are nearly 60 percent more likely to marry Jewish partners made waves this week, as Jewish intellectuals and professionals discussed the study's merits and what lessons can be learned from it. One of the key questions was whether the figures - which are based on interviews with participants from 2001 to 2004, at the height of the intifada - would show a greater or lower Jewish commitment in more recent years. ...

Gaydamak once worked for French intelligence, former minister says 
Ha'aretz 29 Oct 2009 - Recently convicted Israeli-Russian-French businessman Arcadi Gaydamak was formerly an agent for the French domestic intelligence agency DST, former French interior minister Charles Pasqua told the daily Le Figaro on Thursday. ...

Norway university to vote on boycott of Israel next month 
Ha'aretz 29 Oct 2009 - The university of Trondheim in Norway may become the first university in the West to adopt an academic boycott of Israel, if a majority of its board votes in favor of the move at a meeting on the subject next month. ... 

ANALYSIS / Palestinian anger over Jerusalem is affecting Abbas 
Ha'aretz 29 Oct 2009 - The pattern repeats itself: A relatively marginal Jewish organization calls upon the public to hold prayers on the Temple Mount to mark Yom Kippur, Sukkot or, as was the case this week, "Rambam Day" (commemorating Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon's visit to the Land of Israel in the 12th century). These announcements win a great deal of attention in the Palestinian and Arab media, of course. ... 

'Abbas deeply suspicious of Netanyahu' 
Ha'aretz 29 Oct 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is deeply suspicious of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and is losing faith in his intentions to reach a peace agreement, Israeli officials have told Haaretz. ... 

The Guardian

Letters: Credible approach on human rights
The Guardian 29 Oct 2009 - Members of the advisory board of the pro-Israel lobby group NGO Monitor take the Guardian to task ( Letters , 29 October) for failing to write a story about criticisms from the founder of Human Rights Watch, Robert...

Playing with fire: UN turns Gaza shelling into theatre
The Guardian 29 Oct 2009 - A show about the fate of an aid warehouse has caused controversy in Israel There is nothing ordinary about this advocacy campaign for a large UN institution. The lights dim before a packed audience and a...

The J Street dinner | Michael Tomasky
The Guardian 29 Oct 2009 - I return to this subject warily, because my last post on the matter generated all of one comment. Surely it was the only post in the electronic history of the Guardian to have anything remotely to...

Israeli military gives settlers free rein | Seth Freedman
The Guardian 29 Oct 2009 - The IDF is offering ever more support to settlers as its influence by religious-nationalist politics increases During a swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem last Thursday, two soldiers held up a banner that sparked...

Letters: Call for NGO review
The Guardian 28 Oct 2009 - We regret that the Guardian hasn't yet covered the important criticism made of Human Rights Watch (HRW) last week by its founder and chairman for 20 years, Robert Bernstein. Bernstein lamented the fact that HRW has...

Driving up J Street | Michelle Goldberg
The Guardian 28 Oct 2009 - The success of J Street's conference is a symptom of the tensions that liberal American Jews feel towards Israel Security guards blocked the doors to several of the panels at J Street's first annual conference this...

Grassroots group aims to break deadlock over Israeli settlements
The Guardian 28 Oct 2009 - One Voice hopes to open debate among Palestinians about land exchange, but finds resistance at West Bank meeting There are few more pressing issues for the Palestinians of Salfit, living deep in the rocky hills of...

The state-first mistake | Ahmad Khalidi
The Guardian 28 Oct 2009 - The Palestinian Authority is intent on a kind of Zionism in reverse. The approach is badly flawed As President Obama seeks to jumpstart the Middle East peace process with increasingly disappointing results, a new approach has...

Ehud Olmert could face war crimes arrest if he visits UK
The Guardian 27 Oct 2009 - Prosecution of Israelis likely, says solicitor Lawyers working on use of universal jurisdiction Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister during the Gaza war, would probably face arrest on war crimes charges if he visited Britain, according to...

Turkey leads the Muslim world | Stephen Kinzer
The Guardian 27 Oct 2009 - Ankara has healed relations with and between its neighbours. But it cannot bring itself to be diplomatic with Israel This week's visit to Iran by the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoan, is to be warmly...

Ha'aretz National page

Comment / Rabin memorial rally is no longer pro-peace 
Ha'aretz 29 Oct 2009 - This is not my rally any more. This is no longer the rally of those committed to democracy and peace, those who recognize the need to divide the land, end the occupation, evacuate settlements and establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Above all, this is no longer the rally of people who acknowledge and respect painful majority decisions even if they don't like them. ... 

Study: Birthright alumni less likely to marry out 
Ha'aretz 29 Oct 2009 - A new study suggesting that Birthright alumni are nearly 60 percent more likely to marry Jewish partners made waves this week, as Jewish intellectuals and professionals discussed the study's merits and what lessons can be learned from it. One of the key questions was whether the figures - which are based on interviews with participants from 2001 to 2004, at the height of the intifada - would show a greater or lower Jewish commitment in more recent years. ...

Shalit activists to launch new campaign if talks remain stalled 
Ha'aretz 29 Oct 2009 - The group working to gain the release of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit is working with his family on a new public strategy to be implemented if no significant progress is made in talks between Israel and Hamas. Shalit has been held captive in Gaza for more than three years. ...

Comment / Israel was all too willing to sell out for Gaydamak's billions 
Ha'aretz 29 Oct 2009 - Finally, 10 years after the investigation began in France, Arcadi Gaydamak has been sentenced to six years in prison and a hefty fine for selling hundreds of millions of dollars of arms to war-torn Angola. Not that he is planning to serve any time. The millionaire is holed up in Moscow where as long as he does nothing to anger the Kremlin, he is safe from extradition. He may have cheated justice, but we can at least derive satisfaction from the fact that we've probably seen the last of him. Israel has the necessary legislation to send him on a plane bound for Paris; and as he is about to be charged here with money-laundering, it seems pretty certain he'll never return to the country where only a year ago he was hoping to become prime minister. ... 

One person killed in suspected Mob 'work accident' in Bat Yam
Ha'aretz 29 Oct 2009 - One person was killed and two more were seriously injured in an explosion at a Bat Yam garage that police suspect was a botched Mob hit. ...

Relief Web

Efforts bearing fruit to end landmine scourge, as 41 million in stockpiles destroyed since 2008, Assistant Secretary-General tells Fourth Committee
Relief Web 29 Oct 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

Assistance à la lutte antimines - Rapport du Secrétaire général (A/64/287)
Relief Web 29 Oct 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

OPT: Protection of civilians weekly report, 21-27 Oct 2009
Relief Web 29 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory 22 - 28 Oct 2009
Relief Web 29 Oct 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

OPT: Leaders Organization hosts a delegation from the European Commission
Relief Web 29 Oct 2009 - Source: European Commission

OPT: Secretary-General, in message to Jerusalem Forum, calls on parties to make renewed efforts in Middle East Peace Process
Relief Web 29 Oct 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

YNet News

Hamas official threatens legal action against Cairo
YNet News 29 Oct 2009 - Islamist group's spokesman claims his brother was tortured to death in Egyptian prison, says will pursue legal action in international courts 

Minister Ben-Eliezer to Turkish envoy: We must look ahead
YNet News 29 Oct 2009 - Amid strained relations, Israeli government officials, IDF officers invited to celebrate Turkey's Independence Day at home of Turkish ambassador. 'Our partnership is based on similar democratic values,' trade minister says. Armenian nationals protest outside 

Golani officers reprimanded over soldier's accidental death
YNet News 29 Oct 2009 - Commander of 51st battalion, as well as squadron and company commanders reprimanded by IDF chief Ashkenazi after military's inquest reveals a series of command, protocol failures led to accidental shooting of Or Hadad in August 

Iran said to seek big changes to draft nuclear deal 
YNet News 29 Oct 2009 - Tehran formally responds to UN nuclear fuel deal, proposes major changes including dividing uranium shipment abroad into several stages 

Daily Star

Iran atom-deal changes set to stall enrichment plan
Daily Star 30 Oct 2009 Iran proposed major changes to a UN-drafted nuclear fuel deal on Thursday, Iranian media said, making demands that appeared to challenge the basis of the agreement with the US, France and Russia. The UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which had requested a reply by last Friday, said its chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, had now received an "initial response" from Tehran., Iran proposed major changes to a UN-drafted nuclear fuel deal on Thursday, Iranian media said, making demands that appeared to challenge the basis of the agreement with the US, France and Russia. The UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which had requested a reply by last Friday, said its chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, had now received an "initial response" from Tehran.

Clinton to hold talks with Israeli, Palestinian leaders
Daily Star 30 Oct 2009 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will hold weekend talks with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the Middle East to work through "challenges" in the quest for peace, an official said Thursday. Clinton will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas separately as the United States seeks to unblock stagnant peace efforts, before she meets Arab leaders in Morocco on Monday., US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will hold weekend talks with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the Middle East to work through "challenges" in the quest for peace, an official said Thursday. Clinton will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas separately as the United States seeks to unblock stagnant peace efforts, before she meets Arab leaders in Morocco on Monday.

UK concerned by reports of jail term for embassy staffer in Iran
Daily Star 30 Oct 2009 Britain said on Thursday it was deeply concerned by reports that an Iranian employee at its embassy in Tehran had been sentenced to four years in jail, after being put on trial for espionage. Calling Hossein Rassam's reported sentencing "an attack against the entire diplomatic community in Iran," UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the Foreign Office had called in Iran's ambassador to London to protest.

Pope urges 'greater opening' by Iran during Vatican meet
Daily Star 30 Oct 2009 Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday urged a "greater opening" by Iran to the international community as he met Tehran's new ambassador to the Vatican. "Iran is a great nation - and its people have a deep religious sensibility," the pope said as he accepted Tehran's Ali Akbar Naseri's credentials. "That may be a reason to hope for a greater opening.

Abbas banking on elections to achieve Palestinian unity
Daily Star 30 Oct 2009 President Mahmoud Abbas has no intention of going down in history as the man who legitimized the permanent and possibly fatal division of the Palestinian independence movement. But he called an election for January that could be a nail in the coffin of Palestinian unity, assuming his Islamist political rivals in control of the Gaza Strip are serious about their threat to ban the vote on their territory., President Mahmoud Abbas has no intention of going down in history as the man who legitimized the permanent and possibly fatal division of the Palestinian independence movement. But he called an election for January that could be a nail in the coffin of Palestinian unity, assuming his Islamist political rivals in control of the Gaza Strip are serious about their threat to ban the vote on their territory.

Iraq authorities arrest dozens of soldiers, policemen over Baghdad bombings
Daily Star 30 Oct 2009 Over 60 soldiers and policemen, including 13 officers, have been arrested over twin bombings in central Baghdad that killed 153 people, said a security spokesman Thursday. Those arrested were deployed in the Salhiyeh neighborhood of the capital where the suicide attackers blasted government buildings on Sunday and wrought havoc in the streets, said Major General Qasim Atta.

Saudi minister wants politics kept out of hajj
Daily Star 30 Oct 2009 A top Saudi official warned against mixing politics with the upcoming annual pilgrimage to Mecca in a veiled reference to Iran, according to an interview with a local paper on Wednesday. Saudi Hajj Minister Fouad al-Farsi's comments to the daily Al-Watan came after Iran's supreme leader urged his people to promote the Iranian point of view at the annual ritual.

Thousands of Iraqi refugees seek resettlement in West
Daily Star 30 Oct 2009 Iraqi refugee Leila Johanna Isho is determined to make this her last year in Syria. "Most of our family is scattered across Europe and I have a cousin in Canada so we don't mind where we move, but we have to move because life is becoming too difficult here," said Isho, sitting with her three children in their cramped single-room apartment in Masakin Berzeh, a working-class neighborhood of Damascus.

Arab states face education crisis, risk instability
Daily Star 30 Oct 2009 Arab states could face political and social instability if they under-invest in the education of their young, expanding populations, a regional education report said on Wednesday. A lack of political will rather than insufficient resources are at the root of the region's inadequate education systems, with governments spending on security rather than education in a bid to control their people.

African leaders discuss Darfur at Nigeria talks
Daily Star 30 Oct 2009 African leaders met on Thursday to discuss proposals meant to end the six-year-old conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, including a new court to try those accused of atrocities there. The 15-member African Union Peace and Security Council was considering a report on Darfur by a panel of African "wise men" headed by former South African President Thabo Mbeki.

US seeks better ties with Russia at disarmament talks
Daily Star 30 Oct 2009 National Security Adviser James Jones stressed the US desire for friendly ties with Moscow as he met Russian officials Thursday for nuclear disarmament talks. Jones, a retired US general, told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that President Barack Obama remained committed to improving ties with Moscow that have been badly strained in recent years.

Palestinian Information Center

Whitewashing war crimes with stale lies
PIC 30 Oct 2009 - Many Zionist Jews are angry and frustrated these days following the ample attention given to the Goldstone report around the world.

Haneyya gov't asks Cairo to facilitate entry of miles of smiles
PIC 30 Oct 2009 - The government of Ismail Hnaeyya has asked the Egyptian authorities to facilitate the entry of the European aid convoy that has been stranded off the Egyptian harbor of Port Said for two weeks.

PLC lauds Bahraini parliament draft law on banning normalization with Israel
PIC 30 Oct 2009 - The chairmanship of the PLC has hailed the Bahraini parliament for issuing a draft law banning all kinds of normalization with Israel and punishing violators with 10 years in jail.

Palestinian sentenced to 20 years in jail on charge of resisting the occupation
PIC 30 Oct 2009 - An Israeli court sentenced a Palestinian citizen from Gaza called Juma’h Azzam to 20 years in prison on charges of involvement in military acts against Israel and his affiliation with Hamas.

IOA demolishes tent of evicted family in Sheikh Jarrah
PIC 30 Oct 2009 - Palestinian sources reported that a large number of Israeli policemen tore down violently the tent of Al-Gaoui family and confiscated its contents in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Bardawil: Abbas bows to Zio-American dictates
PIC 30 Oct 2009 - Hamas leader and MP Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil has accused Mahmoud Abbas of bowing to Zio-American pressures and of being incapable of taking independent decisions.

Surani: Goldstone’s report enjoys implementation mechanisms
PIC 30 Oct 2009 - Raji Al-Surani, the head of the Palestinian center for human rights, stated that the new thing which sets Goldstone’s report apart is its talk about specific implementation mechanisms.

Abu Zuhri family reject Egyptian report on death of Yousef
PIC 30 Oct 2009 - The Abu Zuhri family refused to accept the Egyptian general prosecution's report on the death of Yousef Abu Zuhri in Egyptian jails that said he died of natural causes.

Guardian: Olmert could be arrested in Britain for war crimes in Gaza
PIC 30 Oct 2009 - The British newspaper "The Guardian" has quoted a UK lawyer as saying that former Israeli premier Ehud Olmert would probably face war crime arrest if he visited Britain.

Haneyya to American delegation: Hamas supports just peace
PIC 30 Oct 2009 - Ismail Haneyya has underlined that Hamas was not against peace but rather supported peace based on justice that restores Palestinian people's rights and ends occupation of its lands.

Los Angeles Times

House panel approves bill to punish Iran 
LA Times 29 Oct 2009 - The measure, which would allow the president to take action against foreign companies that sell gasoline to Iran, aims to increase pressure on Tehran to abandon its nuclear program. A House committee, seeking to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions, approved a bill Wednesday aimed at punishing Tehran by cutting off its access to gasoline and other refined petroleum products. 

Iran reportedly to seek to alter nuclear plan 
LA Times 28 Oct 2009 - Tehran will ask for 'important adjustments' to the proposal by the West that Iran send most of its uranium stockpile abroad for enrichment and eventual return, state-owned TV says. Iran will seek to amend a proposed deal it reached with the U.S. and other major powers to ship the bulk of its nuclear material overseas, state television reported Tuesday. 

Misc

VIDEO - Palestinians homeless again after eviction 
10/29/2009 - AlJazeera English/YouTube - The United Nations is calling on Israel to immediately stop demolishing Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem. The UN says 60,000 Palestinians may be at risk of being forcibly evicted. Is. . . The United Nations is calling on Israel to immediately stop demolishing Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem. The UN says 60,000 Palestinians may be at risk of being forcibly evicted. Israel says the houses are built without construction permits, which Palestinians say are almost impossible to obtain. Our correspondent Jacky Rowland is in Sheikh Jarrah where Israeli police dismantled a tent set up by a Palestinian family already evicted by Israeli orders in August. [end] 

VIDEO - Palestinian equal rights joins the progressive agenda on ‘The Daily Show’ 
10/28/2009 - Mondoweiss - Mondoweiss - Anna Baltzer & Mustafa Barghouti Extended Interview - 'Throughout the day I had been hearing on the grapevine that The Daily Show was having second thoughts about doing the show as they had been getting pressure to cancel it. ' - As I entered the television studio, Aerosmith was blaring over speakers and the familiar set of The Daily Show stood empty. As can be expected, it looked much smaller in person, but everyone was excited regardless. A mixture of tourists, students and others filed in around an hour before shooting was to start. I noticed there were a few keffiyeh’s wrapped around some shoulders, a couple "Shalom" pins, and one cowboy hat covered in a huge Code Pink anti-war sticker. This was because of tonight’s guests – Dr. Mustafa Barghouti and Anna Baltzer. We were there to watch the struggle for Palestinian equal rights go prime time. -- Links: Thank The Daily Show for interviewing Barghouthi and Baltzer

Neve Gordon: News from Within Palestine-Israel Podcasts
10/29/2009 - Alternative Information Center - Neve Gordon - News from Within Podcast: From Individual Prosperity to Communal Stagnation—The Economy as a Form of Social Control - On 24 October 2009, Prof. Neve Gordon, presented the lecture “From Individual Prosperity to Communal Stagnation: The Economy as a Form of Social Control” at the two day seminar “United in Struggle against Israeli Colonialism, Occupation, and Racism: Economic Perspectives and Advocacy Strategies,” which took place in Bethlehem, 24-25 October. The seminar was jointly sponsored by The Alternative Information Center (AIC) and the Occupied Palestine and Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI). Professor Gordon is chair of the Department of Politics and Government at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. 

The Alternative Information Center Hosts International Conference and Jerusalem Day
10/29/2009 - Alternative Information Center - On 24-25 October, the Alternative Information Center hosted an international conference titled “United In Struggle Against Israeli Colonialism, Occupation, and Racism. ” The conference was held in collaboration with the Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI). More than 300 attendees met at the Paradise Hotel in Bethlehem for talks and seminars with 24 distinguished speakers. Discussion focused on Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) strategies and the practicalities of implementing them. The conference began with an address from Bethlehem Mayor Victor Batarseh, who emphasized that “this city stands for peace, this city stands for justice, this city stands for humanity. ” He also commented on the role of religion in the Palestinian Israeli conflict, saying “A state built on religion cannot be a democratic state […] we seek from our neighbor a secular, democratic state. 

PCHR Send Letter to Prime Minister in Gaza Government, Isma’il Haniya 
10/29/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - Advocate Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) sent a letter of thanks to Prime Minister in Gaza, Isma'il Haniya, in appreciation of the government’s recognition of PCHR’s international efforts to serve Palestinian human rights issues, especially those related to the support for report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission headed by Justice Richard Goldstone in the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Raji Sourani, PCHR's Board Members and Dr. Eyad al-Sarraj, Head of Gaza Community Mental Health Program, met on 25 October 2009, with the Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza and a number of ministers in the Council of Ministers in response to an invitation for PCHR to honor it for its persistent efforts over the months that followed the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, especially those related to the facilitation of the work of the UN Fact-Finding Mission, and subsequent efforts to ensure the endorsement of the Goldstone Report. 

Position Paper: Reconciliation Is a Prerequisite for Elections 
10/25/2009 - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - Presidential Decree is Constitutionally Sound, But Inappropriate and Impossible without Reconciliation - On Friday, 23 October 2009, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that he was issuing a decree calling for free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian National Authority to be held on Sunday, 24 January 2010. This decree came amidst efforts made by Egypt to reach a national reconciliation agreement among Palestinian factions, particularly between the Fatah and Hamas movements; it was expected that this agreement would be finalized and signed at the end of this month. The decree has added a new dimension to the ongoing political crisis as it has raised conflicting reactions and positions. The presidential team considers the decree to be constitutionally legitimate and a non-contradictory component of the reconciliation process, while Hamas 

UK Activists Seek Arrest of Israeli Officers 
10/27/2009 - New York Times - LONDON(AP) -- British lawyers looking for ways to hold Israel accountable for its deadly advance into Gaza last year have expanded their legal campaign by seeking the arrest of Israeli military officers entering Britain. The attorneys plan to go to British courts to obtain arrest warrants against individuals linked to suspected war crimes so they would be taken into custody if they entered Britain, Daniel Machover, a lawyer coordinating the legal team, said Tuesday. ''We've been collecting evidence for some time,'' said Machover of the Hickman & Rose firm. ''If one of the suspects is coming to the country, we are ready to go to the police and the courts with evidence. ''There was no immediate response to the plan from Britain's Ministry of Justice. Israel brushed off the move as part of a harassment campaign by anti-Israeli groups. 

Ehud Olmert could face war crimes arrest if he visits UK 
10/27/2009 - The Guardian - Prosecution of Israelis likely, says solicitor - Lawyers working on use of universal jurisdiction - Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister during the Gaza war, would probably face arrest on war crimes charges if he visited Britain, according to a UK lawyer who is working to expand the application of "universal jurisdiction" for offences involving serious human rights abuses committed anywhere in the world. Neither Olmert nor Tzipi Livni, the foreign minister during the Cast Lead offensive, and a member of Israel's war cabinet, would enjoy immunity from prosecution for alleged breaches of the Geneva conventions, predicted Daniel Machover, who is involved in intensifying legal work after the controversial Goldstone report on the three-week conflict. Neither are ministers any longer. Prosecutions of Israeli political and military figures remain likely despite the failure to obtain an arrest 

Testimony: Army deports Muhammad Abu Sultan to the Gaza Strip and prohibits him from rejoining his wife and children in Tulkarm, October 2009
10/11/2009 - B'tselem - Alaa Abu Sultan, 23: I am married and have three children: a son, Riad, who is three, and two daughters, Raja, who is six, and Riwa, who is two years old. In 2001, I married Muhammad Riad Shhadeh Abu Sultan. My husband is from the Rimal neighborhood in the Gaza Strip. He came to the West Bank in 1996 and lived in the Tulkarm area until 2008. I met him while he was working at my parents’ clothing store. In August 2001, we prepared a marriage contract, and we got married in March 2002. We lived in our house in the Tulkarm refugee camp, and he worked at my parents’ store and also in construction. Alaa Abu Sultan and her childrenMy husband had a Gazan resident identity card. A few years ago, the Palestinian Authority announced that residents of Gaza living in the West Bank could exchange their identity cards for West Bank identity cards. 


Articles

The day the bulldozers came… 
Amnesty International Australia 10/28/2009
      West Bank farmer Mahmoud al-’Alam won’t forget the day Israeli army bulldozers cut off his water supply... and destroyed his livelihood.
     The village of Beit Ula, where Mahmoud lives, is not connected to the Palestinian water network. Instead the community, located north-west of Hebron, relies on rainwater, which it collects and stores in pots dug in the ground, known as cisterns.
     The nine new cisterns built in 2006 as part of a European Union-funded project to improve food security became the pride of the village. The cisterns were vital to the survival of the nine families that used them... until the bulldozers arrived.
     "[The Israeli army] destroyed everything; they went up and down several times with the bulldozer and uprooted everything," recalls Mahmoud al-’Alam.
     In a few hours, years of hard work had been undone. The cisterns had been built with the help of two local nongovernmental organizations, the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees and the Palestinian Hydrology Group.
     The cisterns provided water for 3,200 newly planted trees including olive, almond, lemon and fig trees. The farmers had also contributed a significant portion of the overall cost of the project.
     "We invested a lot of money and worked very hard," said Mahmoud al-’Alam. "This is good land and it was a very good project. We put a lot of thought into how to shape the terraces and build the cisterns in the best way, to make the best use of the land, and we planted trees which need little water... the saplings were growing well..."
     The story of Beit Ula is one of many cases where Israeli forces have targeted Palestinian communities in the region. more.. e-mail

The Danger of Towing the Line Behind Israel 
Bouthaina Shaaban, CounterPunch 10/27/2009
      Zionism is Not Just a Threat to Arabs Any More
     At a time that most countries of the world felt a sense of relief for the positive steps taken by Iran and the West, which promise a let up in tensions on the regional and international level, Israeli analysts, writers and rulers single themselves out by expressing exasperation at this agreement and concern regarding the call for international monitoring of Israel’s nuclear facilities.
     It is useful to recall that Israel does not respect its signature on international agreements as in the case of the Oslo accord or with any other Arab party. That is why Israelis are saying today that signing the Vienna agreement with Iran is not worth its ink and paper. It is a racist position, an expression of racial superiority of one of the signatories and an undermining of the status, dignity and credibility of the others signatories.
     Israel was the main stoker of doubts in recent years about Iran’s nuclear projects. It was also behind drumming up war against Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza, and promoting a military strike against Iran following the same strategy it followed before the war on Iraq. It was the main power behind the decision of the United States and some Western states to launch this war which failed to convince any one of its real objectives since claims of the existence of mass destruction weapons proved to be false.
     Israeli media activity aiming at imposing strict sanctions against Iran is a copy of their media, political, diplomatic and intelligence activity before the war on Iraq. That is why they are depressed now because Iranian behavior was completely different from that of Iraq. The behavior of president Obama is also different from that of president Bush. Obama, so far, thinks primarily of America’s interests, not Israel’s interests like Bush. The military correspondent of Haaretz, Amos Harel, acknowledges that the agreement is an achievement for the United States while it puts Israel in a real dilemma: “should it behave as a player in the team and partake of the general optimism or continue to spread doubt and threats?”.... more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Israeli blockade strangling Gaza agriculture
Electronic Intifada: 29 Oct 2009 - Recently, Israel announced that it would import palm fronds from the Gaza Strip for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Initially, the decision to allow Gaza to export palm fronds seemed like an easing, however small, of the Israeli siege. But according to Gaza's farmers, exporters and the Israeli non-governmental organization Gisha, it wasn't. Mya Guarnieri reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Book review: The timeless work of Naji al-Ali
Electronic Intifada: 29 Oct 2009 - Cartoonist Naji al-Ali was a towering figure in the Palestinian cultural and political scene. His daily political drawings were a knife-twisting, gut-wrenching journey into how Palestinians perceived their predicament. Toufic Haddad reviews A Child in Palestine: The Cartoons of Naji al-Ali for The Electronic Intifada. 

Israel targeting grassroots activists
Electronic Intifada: 28 Oct 2009 - OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM (IPS) - Israeli authorities are increasingly targeting and intimidating nonviolent Palestinian grassroots activists involved in anti-occupation activities who are drawing increased support from the international community. 

Shot after photographing the Gaza sea
Electronic Intifada: 28 Oct 2009 - On 4 October, Ashraf Abu Suleiman, a 16-year-old from Gaza's Jabaliya refugee camp, went to the northwest coast town of Sudaniya to visit an ill school friend. The teen then went to the sea, where he rolled up the legs of his pants, waded into the water and enjoyed the late summer morning. Minutes later, Ashraf was running in blind terror as Israeli soldiers in a gunboat off the coast began shooting at Palestinian fishermen. Eva Bartlett reports from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

In Gaza
Shot after photographing the Gaza sea
29 Oct 2009 - Electronic Intifada : 28 October 2009 Ashraf Abu Suleiman (Eva Bartlett) On 4 October, Ashraf Abu Suleiman, a 16-year-old from Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp, went to the northwest coast town of Sudaniya to visit an ill school friend. The teen then went to the sea, where he rolled up the legs of his pants, waded into the water and enjoyed the late summer morning. He took some photos of the sea and of the area around him, intending to play with the photos later on Photoshop, a hobby he and his father share. Minutes later, Ashraf was running in blind terror as Israeli soldiers in a gunboat off the coast began...

Palestine Chronicle
Gaza: The Forgotten Story
30 Oct 2009 - By Aditya Ganapathiraju Why are people on Gaza so unhappy? Well, if you had to live in a prison, wouldn't you be unhappy?— Former CIA officer Robert Baer[1] It’s the most terrifying place I’ve ever been in… it’s a horrifyingly sad place because of the desperation and misery of the way people live. I was unprepared for camps that are much worse than anything I saw in South Africa.– Professor Edward Said 1993[2] They may be living but they're not alive. – Journalist Philip Rizk[3] The situation on the ground in Gaza has continued to deteriorate since January. One of the most densely populated areas in the world, this small coastal strip is home to a million and a half Palestinians, many of them refugees for over 60 years. It is now the worst condition it’s been in since 1967 when the Israeli army took military control of the land.[4] As numerous scholars and observers have concluded, the Israeli plan for Gaza seems to be to turn it into a depoliticized humanitarian catastrophe,[5] turning the Palestinians trapped in there “beggars who have no political identity and therefore can have no political claims.”[6] The Israeli assault against Gaza last winter brought this enclave to the forefront of the news cycle, only to disappear from the headlines in the weeks and months that followed. The attention of much of the world’s dominant media moved on to other issues soon after a unilateral Israeli pullout—planned precisely timed so as not to cause an...

In The Jaws of the Dragon - A Book Review
30 Oct 2009 - By Jim Miles In The Jaws of the Dragon- America's Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Dominance. Eamonn Fingleton. Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin's Press), New York, 2008. A book about the future published in 2008, with information preceding the publishing date, could well be considered out of date - or at worst in error - after a couple of years of passing current events. Eamonn Fingleton's 'old' work - In the Jaws of the Dragon - defies this, and is just as important a read as it should have been when first published. Perhaps even more so because of its accuracy and depth of research fully supporting his thesis that the U.S. is now in the maw of the Dragon - if not more accurately on the slippery slope into the belly of the beast. At first, while setting up the philosophy behind his thesis I needed to suspend my thoughts on Confucianism until he had fully stated his case. Similarly, I had to remember that events that occurred within the past year - the huge economic downturn - had not yet occurred when this book was written, but the more one reads the book, the more it seems prescient to the current financial situation between the U.S. and not just China but the other Asian tigers as well. After reading just the first introductory chapter in which Fingleton out lines his overall thesis, I noted that the arguments seemed reasonable, but had not included the U.S. personal...

Preview of Ramzy Baroud's 'My Father was a Freedom Fighter'
28 Oct 2009 - By Stephen Lendman - Chicago (Reserve Your First Edition Copy Today. Click HERE .) Ramzy Baroud is a veteran Palestinian-American journalist and former Al-Jazeera producer. He also taught Mass Communication at Australia's Curtin University of Technology, is a frequent speaker, a regular media guest, and is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine Chronicle, a leading resource for information on Israel/Palestine and much more. He's also written numerous articles, commentaries, short stories, and authored several books, including "The Second Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle," and his latest and topic of this introductory review, "My Father was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story." Baroud knows his subject well, having been born and raised in a Gaza refugee camp where he saw Israeli soldiers regularly oppress, harass, humiliate, and attack young Palestinians like himself in an attempt to crush their spirit and break their will to resist, to no avail no matter how hard they tried. What follows is a snapshot of Baroud's forthcoming book titled, "My Father was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story." As distinguished Palestinian author, historian, activist and founder and president of the London-based Palestine Land Society, Salman Abu Sitta, explained in the forward: Ramzy is Mohammed Baroud's son, a heroic "freedom fighter, (and himself) a gifted writer (who) eloquently unearthed the recent history of Beit Daras" village, chronicled his family's struggle in exile, and recounted their determination to survive and endure under siege and assaults that continue to this day. Many books covered the early years,...

'Nuke Gaza'
28 Oct 2009 - By Jeff Gates Israeli officials are right to worry. Gazans too. Yet Americans should worry even more. Israel's "legitimacy" will not last. Of course, that assumes its legitimacy was deserved. That issue also is now called into question in light of the consistency of Israeli behavior over the past six decades. The emerging issues are these: When and how will the recognition of Israel's nation-state status be withdrawn? How will Tel Aviv behave in the interim? Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman may have tipped his Masada hand when he reportedly told Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan that Israel may use nuclear weapons against Gaza. The threat to Israel is not the 1.5 million Gazans who reside in the world's largest open-air prison. The threat is the fast-growing global outrage at the abuse inflicted on Palestinians, commencing with the ethnic cleansing of 400-plus villages six decades ago. Not since 1948 has this enclave of extremists mounted such a public relations offensive. Christian Zionist President Harry Truman trusted Jewish Zionist lobbyists when he solicited assurances that they would not become what they immediately became: a racist theocratic state with an expansionist agenda destined to create serial crises in the region. The merciless global agenda pursued by Colonial Zionists is the single greatest threat to world peace, as confirmed yet again by Lieberman's warning. As the primary remaining ally of these Jewish nationalists, the risks to the U.S. increase with each passing day as Tel Aviv works behind the scenes to catalyze yet...

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